Sunday, February 18, 2007

Siemens Announces 10 Gbps PON Breakthrough, 100km Range

Researchers from Siemens Networks demonstrated the ability to transmit data at 10 Gbps error-free over a passive optical access network -- this is four times faster than current GPON technology. The upstream capacity was rated at 2.5 Gbps and the number of subscriber lines per splitter was expanded to 512. Siemens also achieved a 100 kilometer distance between hub and subscribers -- the so-called last mile. Current PONs typically support subscribers within a 20 km radius.

The higher split factor in urban areas allows considerably more subscribers to be connected to a system. It also eliminates the need for the aggregation devices that are now commonly used to collect and distribute data traffic locally. Siemens predicts that in the future, it will be possible to connect subscribers directly to the core network.

In its research for the new PON system, Siemens implemented an optical amplifier, a so-called erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA). Only through use of an EDFA can the extended reach and greater subscriber number be achieved. Optical fibers doped with the element erbium amplify the optical signal of the system and enable longer transmission ranges with higher bandwidth. This device was developed by Siemens in such a way that a purely optical bi-directional amplification is possible. The result: One single compact device can boost optical signals both from the end customer to the exchange and from the exchange to the subscriber.

"We are very confident that we can further develop systems of the next PON generation to reach final market readiness by the year 2009," said Christian Unterberger, President Fixed Networks at Siemens Networks.

In addition to Siemens, the universities of Eindhoven and Essex, the Heinrich-Hertz-Institut Berlin of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and leading European network carriers are participating in the Extended Reach PON Systems project.

Poland's Netia selects Alcatel-Lucent for Metro Ethernet

Netia, Poland's largest alternative fixed telecommunications provider, selected Alcatel-Lucent for its country-wide deployment of 10G Metro Ethernet networks. The deployment will include Alcatel-Lucent's 7750 Service Router, 7450 Ethernet Service Switch, 7250 Service Access Switch and the 5620 Service Aware Manager. The network will be used for business services such as Virtual Private LAN Services (VPLS) and IP VPNs, and also will form the base for all future services including triple play.

Alcatel-Lucent Tests WiMAX (Rev-e) in India

The Alcatel-Lucent Research Centre (CARC) in Chennai, India completed a live WiMAX IEEE 802.16e-2005 (Rev-e) field trial using Aircel's licensed spectrum. The trials were conducted using the 2.5GHz band and successfully demonstrated applications in moving conditions such as video streaming, high-speed file downloads, VoIP and Web browsing.

Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and Global Crossing Announce IPv6 Peering

Global Crossing announced an IPv6 peering agreement with the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), which provides direct connections to all major Department of Energy (DOE) sites with high performance speeds, as well as fast interconnections to more than 100 other networks.

The new peering agreement will utilize dedicated interconnections to support the exchange of IPv6 traffic between ESnet's users via Global Crossing. IPv6 peering works by exchanging IPv6 routes at the peering session and allowing IPv6 traffic to transit between the two Autonomous Systems. The peering agreement provides ESnet greater carrier diversity and traffic flow on their network.
  • In June 2005, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) mandated that all federal civilian agencies add IPv6 technology to their network backbones by June 2008. ESnet began utilizing IPv6 in 2000.

  • In August 2006, the Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and Internet2 announced plans for ESnet4 -- a new network that will initially operate on two dedicated 10 Gbps wavelengths on the new Internet2 nationwide infrastructure and will seamlessly scale by one wavelength per year for the next four to five years. It will deliver production IP capabilities as well as new optical services like point-to-point dynamic circuits. The network will serve large-scale DOE Office of Science projects such as DOE's participation in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Lab and several supercomputing centers.

LSI Logic to Acquire SiliconStor

LSI Logic agreed to acquire SiliconStor, a privately held company that provides silicon solutions for enterprise storage networks, for approximately $55 million in cash. SiliconStor provides storage technology focused on the SATA (serial ATA) and SAS (serial attached SCSI) markets. The company is headquartered in Fremont, California, and has approximately 30 employees.

LSI Logic said the acquisition of SiliconStor aligns with its strategy to offer server and storage system customers complete solutions including IC (integrated circuit) controllers, ROC (RAID-on-Chip), expanders, RAID software, and HBAs (host bus adapters) for the fast growing SAS infrastructure.

Motorola's Ron Garriques Steps Down

Motorola announced that Ron Garriques, Executive Vice President and President of the company's Mobile Devices business, has resigned effective immediately. Ray Roman, senior vice president, global sales, and Terry Vega, senior vice president, global devices, will assume responsibility as interim co-heads of the Mobile Devices business.

Calix Supplies FTTP/ADSL2+ for Quebec CLEC

Calix's network access equipment has been selected by Téléphone Guèvremont, a Quebec-based ILEC, and by Maskatel and Téléphone Drummond, CLEC affiliates of Téléphone Guèvremont. The project will utilize Calix C7 multiservice access platforms (MSAPs) to extend new fiber transport facilities to Drummondville, Quebec, overbuilding the current operator. From there, the Calix C7 will deliver voice, Internet access, and eventually IPTV services over short 1.5 Km loops using ADSL2+ and VDSL2 technology. Greenfield locations will be built out using 2.4 Gbps GPON fiber to the premises (FTTP) facilities. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Net Insight Introduces Access/Edge Switch for DTV

Net Insight introduced its Nimbra 360 multiservice access/edge switch, integrating the transport of Digital Terrestrial and Mobile Television services with transfer of highly accurate timing information, thereby eliminating the need for GPS receivers.

The switch offers four built-in multirate SONET/SDH SFP ports and one Gigabit Ethernet port. In addition, up to 16 DVB-ASI ports or other combinations of multiservice access and trunk interfaces are available using the two slots for plug-in modules.

Net Insight said its built-in GbE interface and Ethernet multicast features make the solution very suitable for IPTV distribution or WiFi/WiMAX aggregation. The same platform can also be used for mobile TV whether distributed over IP or ASI MPEG.

DTT and Mobile TV often require a single frequency network (SFN) where the transmitter stations must be synchronized to send their signals at exactly the same time. Nimbra 360 has a time transfer capability that allows highly accurate distribution of real time over the same network that carries the video signals.

BT Selects KPMG Executive as Next Chairman

BT announced that Sir Michael Rake, the current chairman of KPMG International, will succeed Sir Christopher Bland as its Chairman in September 2007. KPMG is among the world's leading accountancy firms. It has a global fee income of $17 billion.

SIRIUS and XM to Merge -- 1 Million Satellite Radio Subscribers

XM Satellite Radio and SIRIUS Satellite Radio agreed to an all-stock merger of equals with a combined enterprise value of approximately $13 billion, which includes net debt of approximately $1.6 billion.

The combination creates a nationwide satellite radio provider with combined 2006 revenues of approximately $1.5 billion and approximately 14 million combined subscribers. Mel Karmazin, currently CEO of SIRIUS, will become CEO of the combined company and Gary Parsons, currently Chairman of XM, will become Chairman of the combined company.

The companies cited several reasons for the merger, including synergies for content programming. They also hope to improve on products such as real-time traffic and rear-seat video and introduce new ones such as advanced data services including enhanced traffic, weather and infotainment offerings.

In regard to potential anti-trust concerns, the companies said that in addition to existing competition from free "over-the-air" AM and FM radio as well as iPods and mobile phone streaming, satellite radio will face new challenges from the rapid growth of HD Radio, Internet radio and next generation wireless technologies.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Avici's Soapstone Develops Abstraction Layer Above MPLS, PBT

Avici Systems has formed a new business unit, called Soapstone Networks , that will offer a network control layer solution that sits between IT-hosted services and network/transport. Soapstone will leverage key industry standards such as ITU NGN, SOA, TMF eTOM, and others, along with open application programming interfaces (APIs) between the network and IT/OSS systems. The Soapstone aim is to map the abstract service needs expressed by the business plane into a simple configuration command set that can be applied to any technology or equipment.

Phase One of the Soapstone product rollout will include the availability of a Provider Backbone Transport Controller (PBTC). Instead of MPLS, PBT uses low-cost Ethernet switching and can link the OSS and network with a simple API. In order for PBT to support automated provisioning and fault management and ultimately control operations costs, it requires a reliable and scalable control plane. Soapstone PBTC is a virtual control plane for PBT, but also one that is compatible with other network technologies such as IP.

Soapstone will deliver a transport abstraction layer above both PBT and MPLS, enabling the migration from already-deployed MPLS networks to PBT.

Soapstone also aims to deliver key capabilities for IMS applications by decoupling IMS from the network, a function IMS recognizes in its definition of a Resource-and-Admission Control Function (RACF). The company plans to support the full ITU NGN RACF capability set, making it compatible not only with IMS but also with emerging FMC applications and even session-based wireline applications including voice and video over IP.

Soapstone registers network elements, selects the optimal transport elements, provisions the network, and monitors the actual characteristics for compliance of a service against a desired behavior.

The Soapstone abstraction layer can create a "virtual resource" that also maps to emerging standards for service management from Telemanagement Forum (TMF) and IPsphere. Soapstone controlled virtual resources can also be integrated with SDP-based features and applications that support IPTV, videoconferencing, SaaS, and other services. By providing a simple and technology-neutral interface for applications to use in brokering network resources, Soapstone facilitates the trend toward application-driven networking.

SK Telecom Selects Digital Fountain's FEC

SK Telecom, the largest mobile operator in Korea, has licensed Digital Fountain's DF Raptor software to develop its next-generation of MBMS, BCMCS, and S-DMB content delivery services.

DF Raptor increases transmission efficiency to enable the delivery of more content over a broader geographic range. DF Raptor has been adopted as a standard for the 3rd Generation Partnership Project's (3GPP) Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS) specification, and is part of the global standard to support content delivery services over DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld) wireless networks.

ILS Proton to Launch Ciel-2 Satellite in 2008

International Launch Services (ILS) was awarded a contract by Canada's Ciel Satellite Group to launch the Ciel-2 satellite in late 2008.

Ciel 2 is a Ku-band Spacebus 4000 C4 model satellite, the largest Spacebus class satellite built by Alcatel Alenia, with a mass of 5,575 kg. From its assigned orbital position of 129 degrees West longitude, it will deliver a variety of communications services throughout Canada and the larger North American market.

Toshiba Selects Innopath's Mobile Device Management Client

Toshiba has selected InnoPath Software's Integrated Mobile Device Management (iMDM) client for use on its 2007 spring handset models, including the SoftBank 812T, 813T, and 911T. The solution has also been deployed on the SoftBank 810T, 811T, and 910T models which were available on the market last season. InnoPath's solution allows for easy and fast software updates to handsets using over-the-air technology.

NTT DoCoMo Achieves 5 Gbps Packet Transmission in 4G

NTT DoCoMo released details of a fourth-generation (4G) radio access network field trial in which it achieved a maximum packet transmission rate of approximately 5 Gbps in the downlink using 100MHz frequency bandwidth. The 5 Gbps downlink was established to a mobile station moving at 10 km/h. The field experiment took place in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture on December 25, 2006.

The result doubled the previous maximum speed of 2.5Gbps, which NTT DoCoMo achieved a year earlier, by increasing the number of MIMO transmitting and receiving antennas from six to 12 each, and by using proprietary received signal processing technology.

As compared with the December 2005 test, the frequency spectrum efficiency, or the ratio of data transmission rate to channel bandwidth, was also doubled from 25bps/Hz to 50bps/Hz (5Gbps/100MHz).

T-Mobile Selects Alcatel-Lucent for GSM/EDGE network

T-Mobile awarded a contract to Alcatel-Lucent to enhance its German GSM network with the latest generation of GSM/EDGE technology, enabling data rates of up to 220 kbps. The GSM/EDGE network to be upgraded by Alcatel-Lucent will be operational by the end of 2007. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the agreement, Alcatel-Lucent will replace several thousand existing GSM base stations in T-Mobile's network with its latest 9100 Multi-standard Base Station product line. It will upgrade the existing base stations with EDGE capability and replace several hundred base station controllers with Alcatel-Lucent's latest Advanced-TCA based BSC. Alcatel-Lucent will be responsible for overall project management, including network integration, removing old equipment and installing the new equipment, and subcontractor management.

Tropos Debuts Spectrum and Application Based Routing Engine for Wireless Mesh Networks

Tropos Networks introduced its Spectrum and Application Based Routing Engine (SABRE), a mesh software system that enables intelligent integration of parallel network operation across multiple frequency bands and radio types. The new capability could be used by wireless network operators to reserve spectrum and radio interfaces for specific applications or users.

For example, a municipality could carry video surveillance traffic in the 5 GHz band while using the 2.4 GHz band for consumer access. The municipality could switch the video surveillance traffic to the 2.4 GHz band when there is congestion or a failure in the 5 GHz band while disallowing consumer access to shift to the 5 GHz band under similar circumstances.

Tropos' SABRE software, which will an optional capability in the company's MetroMesh routers, provides rule-based traffic segmentation, carrying traffic for different applications on different spectrum and radios while supporting dynamic fault tolerance in the event of link congestion or failure. Parallel networks using different frequency bands and radios can be configured at the client, mesh and/or capacity injection layers. SABRE dynamically routes traffic based on application, service, priority or other configurable rules. Different frequency bands can carry traffic for different applications or users. SABRE automatically detects faulty, congested or otherwise sub-optimal links at each layer in the network and seamlessly routes traffic to the optimal band for dynamic capacity expansion and fault tolerance.

Tropos said that with its future MetroMesh routers supporting licensed band operation and new radio types such as mobile WiMAX, a similar scenario will be enabled for carriers who wish to provide premium service with a licensed band and standard service with an unlicensed band. Again, SABRE could be configure to switch licensed band traffic to the unlicensed band but not vice versa, providing fault tolerance for the premium service traffic while reserving the licensed spectrum for premium users. Also, carriers could program SABRE to use unlicensed spectrum when its use enhances overall system capacity.

Tropos said the capabilities will be available in mid-2007.

Infinera Acquires Little Optics for Planar Integration Technology

Infinera has acquired Little Optics, a start-up specializing in planar lightwave circuits, for an undisclosed sum. Infinera said the acquisition complement its own active large-scale photonic integration based on indium phosphide.

Based in Annapolis Junction, Maryland, Little Optics has pioneered the development of integrated optical devices using planar lightwave technology and proprietary glass materials to deliver photonic integration that is designed to be superior to traditional planar lightwave technology. Little Optics' passive integration techniques are in the development stage.

Avaya Announces $500 Million Stock Repurchase Plan

Avaya's board of directors authorized a new share repurchase plan of up to $500 million over the next two years.

"This plan underscores Avaya's financial strength," said Caroline Dorsa, chief financial officer, Avaya. "Our share repurchases represent an excellent opportunity to enhance shareholder value over the long-term."

U.S. Residential Broadband Penetration to Exceed 50% in 2007

Residential subscriptions to broadband Internet services surged 20% in 2006 to exceed 50 million U.S. households, according to Digital Lifestyles: 2007 Outlook, a new study from Parks Associates. The report estimates U.S. residential broadband subscriptions will surpass 60 million households by year-end 2007, accounting for 55% of all U.S. households.

"The foundations of digital lifestyle applications and products are built on access services, including broadband Internet and television," said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst with Parks Associates. "With the penetration of high-speed Internet exceeding 50% in 2007, we're also witnessing shifts in the way companies are positioning their communications, entertainment, and information services as home technology solutions." "